Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture

Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture

by L. Andrew Cooper
     
 

ISBN-10: 0786448350

ISBN-13: 9780786448357

Pub. Date: 06/23/2010

Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

Eighteenth-century critics believed Gothic fiction would inspire deviant sexuality, instill heretical beliefs, and encourage antisocial violence—this book puts these beliefs to the test. After examining the assumptions behind critics' fears, it considers nineteenth-century concerns about sexual deviance, showing how Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,

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Overview

Eighteenth-century critics believed Gothic fiction would inspire deviant sexuality, instill heretical beliefs, and encourage antisocial violence—this book puts these beliefs to the test. After examining the assumptions behind critics' fears, it considers nineteenth-century concerns about sexual deviance, showing how Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray, and other works helped construct homosexuality as a pathological, dangerous phenomenon. It then turns to television and film, particularly Buffy the Vampire Slayer and David DeCoteau's direct-to-video movies, to trace Gothicized sexuality's lasting impact. Moving to heretical beliefs, Gothic Realities surveys ghost stories from Dickens's A Christmas Carol to Poltergeist, articulating the relationships between fiction and the "real" supernatural. Finally, it considers connections between Gothic horror and real-world violence, especially the tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786448357
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
06/23/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction

Bad Influences and Gothic Realities 1

Part 1 Gothic Threats 23

1 The Threat in the Gothic's Foundation: From John Locke to Horace Walpole 25

2 Gothic Threats and Cultural Hierarchy: The Critical Evaluation of The Monk and The Mysteries of Udolpho 39

Part 2 Gothic Sexualities 57

3 Pathological Reproduction: The Emergence of Homosexuality through Nineteenth Century Gothic Fiction 59

4 Romps in the Closet: The Persistence of Nineteenth Century Notions in Contemporary Pop Culture 81

Part 3 Gothic Ghosts 115

5 Ghost Stories and Ghostly Belief: Conventional Horrors That Make Good Truths 117

6 Ghost Epistemology: Five or Six Ways to Haunt the Senses 144

Part 4 Gothic Violence 159

7 Fictions That Kill: Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Stephen King's Only Out-of-Print Novel 161

8 Violent Self-Reflection: Natural Born Killers, Wes Craven's Nightmares, and Torture Porn 184

Chapter Notes 209

Selected Bibliography 223

Index 233

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